Starving orangutans are being rescued from a forest after bulldozers destroyed their home. Among those saved from the brink of death were a pregnant female and a mother and baby who refused to let go of each other during the horrific ordeal. The orangutans were found clinging to the last few remaining trees when the Indonesian forest they were living in was bulldozed to make way for an palm oil plantation.
Here are some links for organizations that rescue orangutans or preserve lands for orangutans:
Picture: Caters News Agency (via Pictures of the day - Telegraph)
A male Sumatran Orangutan infant born at Zoo Atlanta on January 10 came into the world in an unusual way: he was delivered by Caesarean section with the help of human obstetricians, neonatologists, and veterinary anesthesiologists. This Caesarian section is one of only three to be performed on Sumatran Orangutans in recent years.
Zoo Atlanta’s animal care staff planned for this important delivery for months. The baby’s 16-year-old mother, Blaze, is a small-bodied female, and she had a previous infant who did not survive the birth process, possibly due to Blaze’s small size. (read the rest, see more photos and video at the link below)
It may still be November but for the orangutans of Ouwehand Zoo in Rhenen, Netherlands, Christmas has come early. The apes were given gifts wrapped in shiny foil paper, which they happily unwrapped. Picture: Action Press / Rex Features
Great apes may have ‘mid-life crisis’, a study suggests
Chimpanzees and orangutans may experience a “mid-life crisis” like humans, a study suggests.
An international team of researchers assessed the well-being and happiness of the great apes.
They found well-being was high in youth, fell to a low in midlife and rose again in old age, similar to the “U-shape curve” of happiness in humans.
The study brought together experts such as psychologists, primatologists and economists.
Results are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“What we are testing is whether the U-shaped curve can describe the association between age and well-being in non-human primates as it does in humans,” psychologist and lead author Dr Alexander Weiss of the University of Edinburgh told BBC Nature.
Dr Weiss hoped the results would show a similar curve because of the close relationship between humans, chimpanzees and orangutans.
The study showed that male and female humans, chimpanzees and orangutans have the same U-shaped curve despite differences in social roles, and the phenomenon is therefore not uniquely human.
The sample subjects included 508 chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and orangutans (Pongo sp.) of varying ages, from zoos, sanctuaries and research centres.
They were assessed by zoo keepers, volunteers, researchers and caretakers who had worked with the primate subject for at least two years and knew its behaviour.
The animals were numerically scored for well-being and happiness on a short questionnaire, which was based on a human well-being model but modified for use in non-human primates.
Dr Weiss said that the similarities between humans, chimps and orangutans go beyond genetics and physiology.
For example, chimpanzees face similar social pressures and stress factors to humans.
“You don’t have the chimpanzee hitting mid-life and suddenly they want a bright red sports car,” explained Dr Weiss.
“But there may be other things that they want like mating with more females or gaining access to more resources.”
Co-author Andrew Oswald, professor of economics at the University of Warwick, has researched human happiness for 20 years.
“One of the reasons we decided to look at ape data was that when you study humans, that U-shape is exactly the same when you adjust statistically for things like education, income and marriage.
For Prof Oswald it was “quite mind-blowing… to find it in apes”.
e concluded that “the mid-life crisis is real and it exists in… our closest biological relatives, suggesting that it is probably explained by biology and physiology”.
The bigger picture
Psychologist Dr Weiss said that this research opens a lot of doors.
He explained that for a long time this kind of mid-life crisis was considered something specific to human society and human lives.
“And what [this study] says is that it may be a part of the picture, but it’s clearly not all of the picture.
“We have to look deeper into our evolutionary past and that of the common ancestors that we share with chimpanzees, orangutans and other apes.”
A brave orangutan is on the miraculous road to recovery after she was cruelly shot more than 100 times with an airgun.
Aan the great ape was repeatedly attacked by callous yobs who objected to her roaming around an oil plantation in Borneo, Indonesia.
The orangutan, thought to be around 15 years old, was rescued by conservation workers who found a staggering 104 pellets lodged in her vital organs, eyes and ears.
Horrifying x-rays show the extent of her cruel treatment, after which vets performed vital surgery to remove 37 pellets from her head and a further 67 from the rest of her body.
The endangered ape - left blind by the repeated attacks - underwent a three-hour procedure to treat the airgun wounds and is now making a remarkable recovery.
Dr Zulfiqri, a veterinarian from the British-based Orangutan Foundation, removed 32 of the pellets lodged in her body and head during a three-hour surgery at the BKSDA-Kalteng office in Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan.
Aan is now recovering at the Orangutan Foundation Veterinary Facility where she is taking food and water and “showing an incredible resilience against all she has undergone”.
But Aan is now blind with scans showing a dozen pellets lodged in and around her eyes - meaning food and water must be touched or placed in her hands.
The foundation says it is now unlikely Aan will ever be released back into the wild because she will be an easy target for hunters and angry farmers who view orangutans as pests.
Her story is another tragic example of the plight faced by orangutans in the wild as they have their habitat destroyed.
Despite being protected by law, orangutans live in rainforests which are being destroyed through logging and conversion to oil-palm plantations.
It is hoped her experience will help raise awareness of the cruel situation suffered by orangutans in the wild - and encourage tough punishments on those who hunt and kill the endangered animals.
Earlier this year four men were sent to jail for eight months for shooting and beating to death three orangutans and long-nosed monkeys in East Kalimantan.
Mr Bambang Hartono, head of the local conservation agency, said: “I hope that Aan will now feel more comfortable being in the forest living in a large holding cage.
“We will work together with the Orangutan Foundation to find the best way so that Aan can continue to live.”
Ashley Leiman OBE, director of the Orangutan Foundation added: “We have worked in Borneo over 20 years and have never had to rescue three orangutans in four days.
“The reasons for the increase could be due to the rapid loss of orangutan habitat or it could be because more people are reporting orangutans to the wildlife department whereas before they would have killed them.”
Orangutans fight back: Primate ambushes palm oil plantation worker knocking him out and inflicting savage bites
After suffering beatings and shootings, a tribe of orangutans has hit back and ambushed a palm oil plantation worker, pummelling him into unconsciousness and inflicting savage bites.
The day the apes struck back at humans has not surprised conservationists in the Indonesian part of Borneo island – the animals have been losing their environment to logging and palm oil companies.
Just days ago a badly wounded orangutan was found with more than 100 air gun pellets in its body and while it is now recovering, others have been beaten or shot to death.
The revenge on humans came when a man named only as Kurnadi was working in a palm oil plantation.
No-one witnessed the attack, but he was found later by another worker covered in bites and bruises – injuries that appeared to have been caused by a group of orangutans.
‘We don’t know how many orangutans were involved in the attack, but it is clear it wasn’t just one of them,’ said an official of the local government conservation agency.
The spokesman, Hartono, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, added: ‘The man was badly injured.
‘Some of his fingers were nearly bitten off. He had fainted after losing a lot of blood.
‘It seems he was surrounded by a group of orangutans, but what we don’t known is whether he was trying to clear them out of the palm oil plantation.’
The conservation agency has files on shocking attacks on orangutans, carried out by palm oil plantation workers on the orders of their bosses who claim the animals are damaging their plants.
Some of the large apes have been hacked to death with machetes, while others have been gunned down or fatally beaten with clubs.
Earlier this year the Daily Mail revealed how conservationists had stepped in at the last minute to save a mother orangutan and her baby as palm oil workers moved in for the kill.
Then this week came the distressing news of the multiple shooting of a female orangutan, which was blinded in one eye and close to death when found by conservationists with more than 100 air gun pellets in her.
She is now returning to health in a clinic, but officials have yet to decide whether she can be released back into the wild or kept in captivity for the rest of her life.
Indonesia is the world’s largest palm oil producer – and while company profits grow the jungles in which the orangutans live continue to diminish to make way for the palm plantations.
‘The attack on the worker is perhaps an indication that the orangutan realises it must strike back to save its habitat,’ said an environmentalist in Jakarta. ‘This is not something we often hear about.’
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And one poster also mentioned the following about palm oil:
Over 46,000 square miles of Malaysia and Indonesia jungles are being converted to palm oil plantations for BIODIESEL production. If you want to know how to boycott, then try boycotting any EU based petroleum company.
The US EPA has rejected Palm Oil for biodiesel, but the EU is all for it and investing heavily in Palm Oil Biodiesel production. So, if you want to boycott something, try the likes of BP and Shell, and don’t use any fuel that is blended with biodiesel unless you can confirm it’s source.